Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate Nostril Breathing balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain and brings mental and emotional balance. It’s a great practice for relieving anxiety, clearing addictive behaviour patterns, letting go of the past, and re-framing your mind to integrate new perspectives on life.
If you are new to doing Kundalini Meditations on your own, make sure to read how to do a home practice before you begin.
Sit with a straight spine and light neck lock.
Eyes are closed, pressed gently up, focusing at the brow point.
Breath & Mudra
Close off the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale deeply through the left nostril. When the breath is full, close off the left nostril with the little finger, and exhale smoothly through the right nostril. Continue with this sequence, inhaling left, exhaling right. The breath is complete, continuous, long, and smooth. An alternate method of closing off nostrils is using the thumb and index finger.
Simply listen to the breath, or silently repeat the mantra Sat Nam. Inhale with Sat, exhale with Nam. You are affirming your essence as your identity as you repeat this. Sat means truth, Nam means name or identity.
The time for practice varies:
10 minutes as a start
15 minutes to experience deep meditation
22 minutes trains the mind to use the state created by this breath as a resource
31 minutes cleanses the body and restores the nervous system from the effects of current and past shocks and trauma
Inhale. Exhale completely, hold the breath out and apply mulbhand. Relax completely.
How it Works
This is a wonderful practice to master. It is excellent to do before bed to let go of the worries and attachments of the day. Inhaling through the left nostril stimulates the brain’s capacity to reset your framework of thinking and feeling, allowing new perspectives. Exhaling through the right nostril relaxes the constant analyzing, judging, planning and worrying functions of the brain, helping to break up these long-held automatic patterns. It will be easier to let go of your story and complexes when you practice this breath pattern. Regulating your breath pattern in this way sets a new level of brain functioning which establishes emotional balance and calmness after periods of intense stress or shock.
Born in Guru Ram Das ashram in Toronto, Gurushabd is a true modern yogi, and grew up in a spiritual community of Kundalini Yogis, healers, teachers, and Sikhs. She spent a year studying at a yogic boarding school in India, became certified to teach Kundalini Yoga at the age of 17, and has over a decade of teaching experience.
Gurushabd teaches welcoming classes at Lotus Yoga Centre with a graceful spirit and a deep gratitude for whoever walks through the door. When she’s not teaching, Gurushabd is directing the studio and running the business side of things. In her down time, Gurushabd can be found biking around the city, playing ultimate frisbee, meditating, and hanging out with her husband Nash.